Cyberpunk 2077 Crafting: Perks, Upgrades, Blueprints, and Materials

Crafting is integral to Cyberpunk 2077. This guide covers the best perks to get, how to upgrade crafted items, how to find blueprints, and how to get crafting materials.

There are a lot of items and equipment you can buy in Night City, but to create the ultimate versions of many of the city’s Iconic weapons and armor, you need to know how to craft in Cyberpunk 2077. Crafting is so crucial to endgame progression that there’s an entire perk tree dedicated to it.

Cyberpunk 2077 crafting is also one of the only ways to ensure you have easier access to Legendary quality gear. You will find the occasional piece of Legendary equipment out in the world, like the Legendary Mantis Blades or Gorilla Arms, or through NPC-specific quests. 

There’s also some Iconic equipment that drops at lower rarities but can be upgraded to Legendary status. Putting together a character with a crafting focus enables you to craft gear for less money and at a higher quality than anything you’ll buy in a store.

Lastly, while it won’t be the most economical choice for the early- or mid-game, crafting can be a ready source of additional money later on. The grind to get there is excessive, however.

How Cyberpunk 2077 Crafting Works 

Crafting is fairly straightforward and covers most kinds of gear. It’s accessible from the beginning as a part of the main set of menus. Early on, you’ll have a limited selection of lower-rarity items. If you have materials for the required quality, you’ll be able to create the item from the crafting menu. 

A crafted weapon’s stats, damage type, damage amount, and almost everything else is randomized and scaled to that of similarly leveled weapons in the world. A Level 1 weapon might do 50 damage, for instance, and while a crafted weapon of the same level can do quite a bit more, it can also do significantly less. 

How to Get Crafting Materials

There are two main ways to acquire the materials you need to craft items: dismantling gear or purchasing materials outright at a vendor.

Weapon shop owners sell item components needed for weapons and armor, netrunner merchants sell quickhacking components, and so on.

Between the two merchants, it’s usually more economical to dismantle the trash loot you don’t want, as most low-rarity gear won’t make up the cost of buying materials of their quality.

When Do Epic and Legendary Items Start to Appear? 

Enemies and vendors will eventually start offering higher-rarity items as you level up. Once you reach the mid-20s (or so) in character level, both Epic and Legendary equipment will be available from vendors. You’ll occasionally see at least Epic gear from enemy drops.

Expanding Your Crafting Options

The easiest way to get your hands on more crafting blueprints is to buy them.

  • Weapon shops sell weapon blueprints
  • Clothes shops sell armor blueprints
  • Netrunner stores sell hacking blueprints
  • Ripperdocs sell cyber mod blueprints

They’ll also sell blueprints for mods.

Buying blueprints won’t break your bank, even for Legendary equipment, and all blueprints are unlimited use. That means as you level up, your gear will only continue growing in power.

How to Find Rare and Legendary Blueprints

Vendors appear to refresh their inventories when you level up, both for weapons and blueprints. This is specifically for your character level, not a skill or Street Cred level. You’re also more likely to see Legendary blueprints on the city's outskirts and at its outermost reaches. In short, if you see a blueprint you like, even if you can make it, and you have the money to buy it, buy it. 

You will also find rarer blueprints hidden throughout Night City, usually for Legendary-level gear, in loot box drops. Enemies have a chance of dropping them, too, specifically world bosses.

You’ll need a pair of high-level-requirement perks to create Epic and Legendary gear, but the investment can pay for itself in damage and money the farther you get in Cyberpunk 2077. We talk about those perks below.

Best Perks for Crafting 

You’ll be spending many level points on Crafting to acquire all the proper skills, as you need 18 levels of Technical Ability to craft Legendary-tier equipment. There are plenty of other worthy perks as well.

Mechanic (No Cost)

Mechanic gives you more components when disassembling. There’s no reason not to take Mechanic, as it’s a net buff to your crafting abilities, making every item worth more and ensuring you’ll have a ready supply of mats — as long as you keep bringing in trash loot.

Workshop (Technical Ability 7)

Workshop grants up to a 15% chance to gain a free component of the same rarity as the dismantled item. Not as good as Mechanic, Workshop nevertheless gives you a chance to increase your high-rarity material stores and is a must-take for any crafter.

Ex Nihilo (Technical Ability 12)

Ex Nihilo grants a 20% chance to craft an item for free. Free is always good, and even if it's a one-in-five chance, a chance at a free Legendary is worth the opportunity, right?

Efficient Upgrades (Technical Ability 12)

Efficient Upgrades grants a 10% chance to upgrade an item for free. Not as good as Ex Nihilo, but one of Cyberpunk’s greatest sins is making your badass mercenary look like a fashion-dead loser for the sake of stats. Upgrading your gear can bring your favorite clothes and weapons forward without needing to search for a higher-level version — and again, free is never bad.

Tune-Up (Technical Ability 16)

Tune-Up lets you upgrade lower-quality components to higher-quality ones. You’re bound to have a stock of common and uncommon mats by the time you acquire this perk, and when you do, take time to convert everything you have all at once, so you don’t have to do it again. 

Other Perks to Get

You’ll also want Grease Monkey and Edgerunner Artisan to craft Epic and Legendary items, respectively. After those, invest in 200% Efficiency and Field Technician to give your weapons and armor an additional boost. 

Cutting Edge, the level pinnacle Crafting Perk, makes Legendary perks more powerful. Crazy Science, which requires 20 in the Crafting skill, not in Technical Ability, increases sale value of crafted items.

The Scrapper perk, which disassembles items automatically while giving you experience, should be used as a supplement to dismantling and purchasing, not the main source of better mats.

Best Perks Quickhack Crafting

Lastly, there are four perks in the Quickhacking perk tree to unlock if hacking is more your speed. Hackers Manual, School of Hard Hacks, Hacker Overlord, and Bartmoss’ Legacy give you the ability to create Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and Legendary quickhacks, respectively.

There's an entirely separate set of materials for quickhack crafting, which you acquire the same way, plus hacking various red-marked terminals in the world.

Upgrading Weapons and Armor

As mentioned above, upgrading your gear in Cyberpunk 2077 can be slightly costly, but it will let you keep the gear you like for far longer.

This is especially true for any lower-rarity Iconic weapons and armor. Some of them you might run across very early in your playthrough, and when you upgrade them, they’re once again competitive with the on-level items you find in the world.

Be mindful that upgrading costs multiple materials of varying rarities, up to and including the rarity of the item to be upgraded. Legendary gear, then, takes Legendary components to bring up to par. For almost all of them, it’s well worth the price.

Leveling Crafting

Leveling crafting is a slow process, even if you take Scrapper early. Getting from Crafting Level 8 to Crafting Level 9 takes around 6,000 XP, and it only goes up from there. You get around 300-400 XP per Epic weapon you craft. I’ll let you do that math.

Thankfully, you don’t need to have a high crafting level to actually do the crafting. Higher crafting levels:

  • Make perks more effective
  • Improve the quality of the gear you create
  • Slightly reduce costs throughout the process 

Those are the most important factors whenever you’re looking to start crafting in Cyberpunk 2077. Knowing how to craft is a powerful skill that can almost make up for deficiencies in other abilities by increasing damage beyond what you’d find in the wild. Perhaps most importantly, crafted items can keep you looking great no matter what level you are.

Contributor

John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.

Published Dec. 21st 2020

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